Statement of Rare CEO Brett Jenks on the COP28 Agreement

December 14, 2023

(Arlington, VA) Today, Rare CEO Brett Jenks released the following statement in response to the final agreement reached by negotiators at the conclusion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). Jenks attended the conference, which was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“The COP28 outcome signals the beginning of the end of the era of fossil fuels. While the agreement could have been stronger, words matter, and the words in the agreement about ‘transitioning away’ from fossil fuels signal global consensus on fossil fuels for the first time in the history of the UNFCCC. It’s not perfect, but it is progress, especially when viewed together with the global ambition – and finance – committed at COP for nature, oceans, and food systems.”

“The slow pace of global action on emissions makes local action to build the environmental, social, and economic resilience of the world’s most vulnerable communities even more critical. We must prioritize an equitable approach to helping communities in the Global South, which are the least responsible for climate change but on the frontlines of its impacts. We must empower local leaders and their communities with the rights and resources to sustainably manage their natural resources and reduce barriers to adopting sustainable practices that ultimately benefit people and nature. Meanwhile, as high-income countries heed the call of the COP28 decisions and turn ambition into action, they should recognize the potential of individual action as a meaningful part of the solution.

“What is clear is that our future cannot be left solely to COP negotiators. Achieving impact in communities on the frontlines, and scaling that success, can provide global leaders with the pathway and the pressure to more urgent and meaningful global climate action.”